I made the big announcement that I’ll be competing for Miss Kansas USA. Since then, I’ve received overwhelming support as well as lots of questions as to why I would want to do a pageant and the pageant system in general. Competing in pageantry has not always been a part of my story—but I am so glad it became part of it. I hope this Q+A provides you some inspiration to chase your own dreams—whatever they may be.
Miss Kansas USA Q+A
Q: Have you always wanted to be in pageants/Be Miss USA?
No—Unlike some, I wasn’t a little girl who ever aspired to. I had never watched my mom’s pageants and didn’t think much of it. We were a sport-focused home. I aspired to play college soccer and my heroes were on the US Women’s National Team. When I suffered my 4th concussion the hope of that dream disappeared. My identity was soccer, and I was lost. Shortly thereafter, we were in Kansas City and my mom asked me if I wanted to go to Miss Kansas USA with her. This was the first pageant I’d ever seen. I was impressed, amazed, and inspired. That night at Miss Kansas USA, I found a new dream.
Q: Are the girls mean or like what you see in the movies?
The overwhelming amount of genuine, kind-hearted people far outweigh the few “bad apples”, haha. Pageantry is no different than life in that regard. I can definitely attest that my experience has been full of friendship and women empowering women. I’ve met some of my best friends through pageants, and the whole industry is filled with amazing people I now cannot imagine my life without.
Q: Why do you participate in pageants?
Pageantry challenges and grows everyone who participates. You need to know who you are, what you believe and how to succinctly articulate it. The women who compete in pageantry are confident, articulate, intelligent, fit, beautiful, and motivated to make a difference in the world. The process pushes me to be my very best self.
Q: What has prepared you to compete?
I grew up serving with Harvesters, Children’s Mercy, Make A Wish, Special Olympics, among many others, so service was always a part of my story—and a huge part of the job of Miss Kansas USA and Miss USA. Since I have been a lifelong athlete because of sports, fitness has also always been a part of my life. Fashion, glamour, and platform heels I have learned to pick up along the way, lol. But, all of my preparation has made me a better person—regardless of the outcome.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:17
PS-Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, @graciehunt, and shop my outfits here.